We've added sautéed mushrooms to the classic--and very simple--spaghetti with garlic and oil, but the dish can still be made in no time at all. Regular white mushrooms are excellent here; portobellos or wild mushrooms would be great, too.
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes (optional)
2/3 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound spaghettini
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
How to Make It
In a medium frying pan, heat the olive oil over moderately low heat. Add the garlic and the red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the garlic softens, about 1 minute. Add the sliced mushrooms and the salt and cook until the mushrooms exude liquid, the liquid evaporates, and the mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghettini until just done, about 9 minutes. Drain and toss with the mushroom mixture, the parsley, and the pepper.
Variations: Spaghettini with Garlic and Oil : Eliminate the mushrooms and reduce the oil to 7 tablespoons. Just cook the garlic and red-pepper flakes for a minute and toss with the remaining ingredients.
Spaghettini with Walnuts, Garlic, and Oil: Eliminate the mushrooms and reduce the olive oil to 7 tablespoons. At the end, toss in 2/3 cup of toasted and chopped walnuts.
Spaghettini with Salami, Garlic, and Oil: Eliminate the mushrooms and reduce the olive oil to 7 tablespoons. Cut 1/4 pound of sliced salami into thin strips and toss it into the spaghettini with the parsley and black pepper.
Wine Recommendation: The earthy taste of mushrooms goes wonderfully with the correspondingly earthy flavor of a pinot noir, while the assertive flavor of the garlic calls for a simple version of this wine. A bottle of Givry, Rully, or Mercurey from France will be your best choice.
Quick From Scratch Pasta
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I did reduce the oil to 1/3 cup based on another review (plus the box of pasta we had was just under a pound--13.75oz), but you definitely need the entire teaspoon of salt for flavor and to make the mushrooms weep to give you a good sauce.
I thought the dish was great, especially if you're looking for a vegetarian main dish. The kids liked it--though my husband would have preferred a little more heat, but he can always add more red pepper on top.
I found this recipe bland and will try it with only 1/2 pound of spaghetti and 1/4 cup of olive oil next time. Hopefully, this will intensify the flavors. Will do a trial doing it my way, with extra instant garlic, ground black pepper and red pepper sauce at the ready if necessary.
I am glad I was suspicious of the 1 tsp of salt and only used 1/2 tsp instead. I also used cilantro instead of flat parsley.
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